Kain Hitam

The Painted Cave

Useful Information

Location: 96km (2-3 hours drive) south/southeast of Miri.
From the park headquarter the Niah river is crossed by motor boat, then a 4km planwalk to the cave.
Open: All year.
Fee: Park Entrance: Adults RM 3, Children RM 1, Students RM 1.
Photography Permit: Camera RM 5, Video Camera RM 10.
Special permits for Painted Cave: from the Park authorities in Kuching.
Classification: ExplainKarst cave
Light: none, bring electric torch.
Guided tours:  
Address: National Parks and Wildlife Office, Forest Department, (Ibu Pejabat Perhutanan), Banbunan Wisma Sumber Alam, Jalan Stadium, Petra Jaya, 93660 Kuching, Tel: +60-82-442180, Fax: +60-82-441377.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1971 cave declared a National Monument.


Kain Hitam is located high in a limestone island, separate from Gunung Subis. About 65m of the wall is full of cave paintings, showing humans and boats. This red paintings were made using hematite, an iron ore. Hematite (Fe 2 O 3 ) is is black, but the streak is red. This is the only cave with hematite drawings in Sarawak.

The floor is littered with death ships with an abundance of bones, beads, porcelain and stoneware sherds. Evidently this was the centre of elaborate prehistoric funerary rites, related to those still existing in the Niah River. C-14 dating on four "death ships" gave between 0 and 780 A.D.

For the painted cave a special permit is needed, which must be obtained prior to the visit from the Park authorities in Kuching.